Federal Way centenarian's secret to longevity: ‘I mind my own business’

Federal Way resident Marjorie Sassetti was born April 26, 1910. - Jacinda Howard, The Mirror
Federal Way resident Marjorie Sassetti was born April 26, 1910.
— image credit: Jacinda Howard, The Mirror

Marjorie Sassetti has seen a lot in her life — she celebrated her 100th birthday Saturday.

Sassetti, who resides at Emeritus at Federal Way retirement home, was born April 26, 1910. She celebrated her latest birthday with friends, family, firefighters and members of the Red Hat Society. Dressed in a pale pink sweater and large round mother of pearl earrings, Sassetti wore a wide smile throughout many of the activities.

Sassetti is in moderate health. Up until last year, she was mobile and doing well. She walked right into her favorite restaurant, Olive Garden, to celebrate her 99th birthday with her family.

But the past year has brought some difficulties, said Joanne Rawley, her granddaughter. Sassetti has a sharp mind, but her body isn't what it used to be, Rawley said. Sassetti keeps mustering up the strength and energy to make it to the next big event.

"It's been a day-to-day thing," Rawley said. "She's very strong; she's very determined."

Sassetti grew up in Minnesota. She moved to the Seattle area when she was 12. She was married in 1929, at age 19, and moved to West Seattle. She lived with her husband, Joseph, on two lots where the couple built their home near Lake Sawyer until her mid-60s. Sassetti then moved to Federal Way's Belmor Park. Her husband passed away at age 85. Sassetti continues to reside in Federal Way.

She has lived to greet several generations of family. She is the oldest of four children and has outlived each of her siblings. She has two daughters, six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

"We feel very blessed to have her in the family," Rawley said.

Firefighters from South King Fire and Rescue showed up to help Sassetti celebrate her longevity. They arrived with a super-sized fire extinguisher, ready to extinguish Sassetti's 100-candle cake if need be.

Members of the Dazzling Divas chapter of the Red Hat Society were also in attendance. They made Sassetti an honorary member of their club. Sassetti was adorned with a sparkling sequin red hat.

Sassetti's actual birthday was Monday. When asked what she has done to live so long, Sassetti said: "I mind my own business."

Check it out

At 100, Sassetti has lived through a series of historical events including: The Great Depression, two world wars, the invention of television, America's trip to the moon, the Civil Rights Movement, the social revolution of the 1960s, the Vietnam War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the rise of the Internet, cloning of Dolly the sheep, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and much more.

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